Curious how Michael B. Jordan got into the his character Erik Killmonger? Or want to know his thoughts about this epic new superhero saga? Then read this interview with him to celebrate the home released of now available on Digitally HD, 4K Ultra HD, Movies Anywhere, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand .
What went through your mind while reading the script for Black Panther the first time?
The first time I read the script, I was really excited. When I sat down to read it, I made sure I’d done everything I needed to do for the day. I put my phone away. I got fully prepared. And as soon as I started to read it, I remember being overwhelmed with emotion. I felt proud and excited that this movie was being made.
Did you always dream about being part of the Marvel Universe?
Oh, yeah. As a kid, I was always playing make believe with my friends. We’d play around in the living room with sofa cushions and stuff. Back then, I always wanted to be a superhero or a comic book character. Now, I get to do it as an actor. I’ve got this great character and I get to be the villain. I love this stuff.
How would you describe your character in the movie?
Erik Killmonger is smart. He grew up in Oakland, but he wants the throne of Wakanda. He cares about a lot of the same things that T’Challa cares about, but he has totally different ways of getting them. Technically, I feel like he’s the villain of the movie – but if we’ve done our job right, people can empathize and see his point of view. Some of the best villains are characters where you can see where they’re coming from and you can understand their pain.
[Black Panther director] Ryan Coogler and me took a lot of time and patience to try and figure out how we could achieve that with Killmonger. We spent a lot of time on the back story. We really focused on getting him as 360 as possible.
How much fun is it to play the bad guy?
Over the years, the characters I’ve played always tend to be good guys, so it was fun to play a guy who doesn’t give a damn about anything. He’s unapologetic about who he is, which is exciting to play. It’s fun to have no boundaries; to have no ceiling, and to do things by any means necessary. I really enjoyed playing the bad guy.
What was the first set you walked onto?
The first set I walked onto was the Tribal Council room, which is where Erik challenges T’Challa for the throne. It’s the scene where he walks into the room in handcuffs and he shows everyone who he is. That was the first day I walked on set. That was the very first scene I shot, and it felt like the first day of school. I was really excited. I couldn’t wait to get to work; to get to go on set with all my friends, Ryan Coogler and our cinematographer, Rachel Morrison.
It was really exciting to get back to work with them, but it was also my first time working with Chadwick, which was also exciting. It was a really, really intense scene – but I loved it. We jumped right into the deep end on the very first day and we really went for it.
What was the atmosphere like on the set of Black Panther?
Ryan Coogler’s sets are definitely a lot of work, but we also have fun. We had to enjoy ourselves while we were making this project. Ryan always keeps things loose and collaborative. He’s always cracking jokes and we always end up having a good time living out our dreams. It was great.
What does it mean to you to make a movie like this now?
I feel like it’s the perfect time. I feel like there are so many things that had to happen for this movie to be possible, but I understand that this is a business.
Chadwick Boseman had to have the career he had up until this point. Ryan Coogler had to have the career he had in order to get to this point. I had to have the career I had. Lupita [Nyong’o] had to have the career she had. Danai [Gurira] had to have the career she had.
Many things had to come into place for people to think, ‘Okay, cool. This is something we want to invest in. This is something that we are going to get a return on.’ We needed a Disney, or a Marvel, to get behind and legitimize this project. A movie like this is very, very expensive to make – but if it doesn’t work, we may not get another one. You know what I’m saying?
That’s real, so a lot of things had to fall into place in order for this to happen. I feel like lots of television shows helped, too. You’ve got Atlanta. You’ve got your Insecure. You’ve got Masters Of None. You’ve got so many different shows going on right now, so people are finally feeling comfortable to embrace the culture.
At the end of Black Panther, Wakanda opens up to the world. What do you think of that message of the movie?
I wouldn’t say Wakanda is completely open to the world, but I feel like they are more into being involved in world activities. They are interested in being more social and I feel like there’s something to that, because it’s important for nations to understand one another.
I think that opening up communication between people with differences or people with different perspectives, different ethnicities and different nationalities is a good positive message. Maybe you don’t have to completely assimilate with somebody to understand somebody’s point of view, but I think communication and openness is extremely important.
Through the 4K Cinematic Universe Edition of “Black Panther,” fans will experience the adventure in stunning 4K Ultra HD with next-generation high dynamic range (HDR) visuals and Dolby Atmos immersive audio.
Disc extras include never-before-seen commentary from director Ryan Coogler; deleted scenes; outtakes; and several making-of featurettes, a roundtable discussion with “Black Panther” filmmakers and writers; a featurette tracing the countless connections between heroes, characters and storylines within the Marvel Cinematic Universe; and an exclusive sneak peek at “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
In Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” T’Challa returns home to the hidden high-tech African nation of Wakanda to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king, following the death of his father.
But when a man named Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) appears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he’s drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Pitted against his own family, the king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and embrace his future as an Avenger.
The film features a fierce group of Wakandan women, including Nakia (Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o), a War Dog and Wakandan spy; Shuri (Letitia Wright), T’Challa’s little sister and tech wizard; and the Dora Milaje, the all-female Wakandan Special Forces led by Okoye (Danai Gurira).
They team up with reluctant ally CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) to help T’Challa defend Wakanda against the forces threatening to destroy it.
The extraordinary ensemble cast of “Black Panther” also includes veteran actors such as Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett as Ramonda, T’Challa and Shuri’s mother; Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker as Zuri, the spiritual leader of Wakanda; and Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, an illegal arms dealer; and standout performances by Academy Award® nominee Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Royal Counsel to T’Challa; Winston Duke as M’Baku, the formidable leader of the Jabari tribe; and Emmy® Award-winner Sterling K. Brown as N’Jobu, a Wakandan War Dog.
BONUS MATERIAL (may vary by retailer):
- Director’s Intro
- From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion - Delve into the film’s making
- Crowning of a New King – Explore the world of “Black Panther” in all its color and complexity
- The Warriors Within – Get to know Wakanda’s women and the actors who portray them
- The Hidden Kingdom Revealed – Wakanda’s diverse people
- Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology
- Deleted Scenes
- U.N. Meet and Greet
- Okoye And W’Kabi Discuss the Future of Wakanda
- T’Challa Remembers His Father
- Voices from the Past
- Gag Reel
- Exclusive Sneak Peek at “Ant-Man and The Wasp”
- Marvel Studios the First Ten Years: Connecting the Universe
- Director’s Commentary
- In World Wakanda Tourism Ads
- Come to Wakanda “Before”
- Come to Wakanda “After”
Black Panther is packaged several ways to ensure fans get the most out of their in-home viewing experience. The Multiscreen Edition (formerly the Blu-ray Combo Pack) includes Blu-ray, and a Digital Copy, giving viewers the flexibility to watch the film on different devices. Those with 4K Ultra HD capability may opt for a 4K UHD Collector’s Edition, including 4K Ultra HD disc with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, Blu-ray disc, and a digital copy (where available). Dolby Vision delivers greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors. Dolby Atmos places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. Together on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc, viewers will fully experience the sights and sounds of Wakanda.
The action in “Black Panther” is intensified through a musical score by GRAMMY®-nominated composer Ludwig Göransson and soundtrack curated and produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning global superstar Kendrick Lamar and Billboard Magazine’s Executive of the Year Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith. “Black Panther: The Album” topped the Billboard 200 chart for five consecutive weeks and the end-credit track, “All The Stars,” featuring Lamar and SZA, spent nine weeks in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
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